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Old 12-27-2019, 09:10 AM   #11
beetle496
 
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

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Originally Posted by philreed View Post
The overall market has changed dramatically. Even at $75 -- which would have been, at best, a two-player set -- the game was unlikely to ever make it into any of the mass or specialty stores.
I have to presume SJG knows the market better than I, but I still feel like I fallen into alternative universe! Never would I have expected to see GW branded stores in my lifetime! I guess those are all gone, but now B&N carries a wide range of 40K stuff, and that still leaves me scratching my head!

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Originally Posted by philreed View Post
We're being careful. It's no fun for any of us if we produce the game and then have to stop making more games.
LOL. Yes please. I still remember the 1st Ogre KS fondly. I think that must have just about killed SJG! I got the box (from my FLGS), and assembled all the pieces, but I hardly play it because it is just too big. I think with CW 6e, it will be easier for me to find pick-up games.

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Originally Posted by totalfailure View Post
I think a couple of your premises are incorrect - I think it far more likely the plans for the car expansions were changed precisely because they weren't selling, and SJG could see the writing on the wall.
That makes perfect sense actually, but I have a hard time squaring that with the apparent enthusiasm of the KS comments.

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Two, I think there was about 0 percent chance Car Wars 6E was ever going to be a viable 'mass-market' success.
You and SJG think the same way. Munchkin is already in the mainstream channels, so SJG has the contacts. The mainstream market already has $70 games, which CW 6e could have hit easily, had they not bothered with the miniatures. CW 6e is a much funner (and deeper) game than anything B&N is selling for $70.

Quote:
That's just not the state of the hobby market of 2019.
The hobby market does seem weak to me. I cannot get the SJG games I want at HobbyTown or the comic book stores. But the larger gaming market seems to be doing very well. Catan is available just about every place that sell Monopoly; that boggles my mind! Mine is a sample of one, but Halloween I was inspired to introduce Mysterium to my family. I tried HobbyTown and my regular comic book stores; no luck. B&N had it though!

Someday, I hope someone writes a war game version of “Accidental Empires”. I understand that better products don’t always win in the commercial market place (BetaMax v VHS) but really I would love to understand the last 30 years in gaming better!

Quote:
There are mountains of product being slammed into the market every week, and the likelihood of one generating enough interest for one of the big retailers to pick it up is remote.
Mostly that seems like KS vanity projects to me, so zero chance for big retailer to pick up. But SJG already has retail channels because of Muchkin. I truly do not understand the difficulty they are having with expanding with another franchise!

Quote:
I think SJG made the correct decision to focus it on the 'hobby' market. And to be honest, it may not even succeed there.
Well, hopefully CW6e will get to my local FLGSs. It comes in an expensive box, not unlike several other available choices, so that fits. I was sorry for the news that that are not planning to sell the miniature and card sets at the FLGS, since that seemed like a great synergy opportunity to me.

With that state of the KS already, I don’t see how 6e could be regarded as anything other than a success. Even if it is only ever available Warehouse 23.
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Old 12-27-2019, 11:17 AM   #12
Andrew Hackard
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

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Originally Posted by beetle496 View Post
Never would I have expected to see GW branded stores in my lifetime! I guess those are all gone,
Not at all. There's one within a few miles of my house.

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Originally Posted by beetle496 View Post
The hobby market does seem weak to me. I cannot get the SJG games I want at HobbyTown or the comic book stores.
Hobbytown is not "hobby market" the way we tend to use it in these discussions; it's more "mass speciality." Comic book stores definitely fall into the hobby market, but many of them don't carry games (although they would probably be able to special order most games if they carry any games at all). Specialized game stores are also in the hobby market as we use the term and would be your best bet if there are any local to you.

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Originally Posted by beetle496 View Post
SJG already has retail channels because of Muchkin. I truly do not understand the difficulty they are having with expanding with another franchise!
Munchkin didn't get into "big box" stores until it had a decade of solid sales history, and even then we aren't guaranteed to stay there -- the competition for shelf space is fierce. It certainly doesn't give us an advantage on placing new games.
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Old 12-27-2019, 01:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

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Originally Posted by beetle496 View Post
That makes perfect sense actually, but I have a hard time squaring that with the apparent enthusiasm of the KS comments.
I've heard of a subset of fans of *anything* referred to as "cicadas" -- a small number of them, but they make noise out of all proportion to their numbers; thus creating a false sense of their numbers. (See "_Serenity_/_Firefly_ Fans" for details.) Before the Internet, it was less of a problem; now, it only takes a couple people (and a bucketload of faux Internet accounts) to make something appear bigger (or smaller!) than it is. That being the case: It isn't enough to look at "what people are saying"; like the guy says in _Pacific Rim_: "Numbers don't lie." (The same cannot be said of the people using them, but there we go.)

And you mention Barnes & Noble -- the other day, I was in there, and saw a board game based on a 45-year-old horror movie (the one which put Steven Spielberg on the map, and made me what I am today... :P ); so there's no telling any more what will, or won't, get shelf-space these days.
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Old 12-28-2019, 07:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

Thank you Andrew Hackard for your time and your insights.
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Not at all. There's one within a few miles of my house.
My wife reminded me that this first GW store was PK, so it was 20 years ago that I fell into a parallel dimension! Thanks to your prompting, and their store finder, I see that there are now six branded stores within 50 miles of me. They won’t be carrying much SJG stuff.
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Hobbytown is not "hobby market" the way we tend to use it in these discussions; it's more "mass speciality."
I will try to learn and use your terms. Yes, HobbyTown is mostly about railroad and RC cars. They have some open gaming, and I think it is a venue for my future hosting of a few CW6e games. HobbyTown is who I purchased the Ogre boxed set through, so that earned them a place in my heart!
Quote:
Comic book stores definitely fall into the hobby market, but many of them don't carry games (although they would probably be able to special order most games if they carry any games at all).
The two I frequent most carry a good number of games, but not enough SJG stuff for my tastes. Since I am only a customer, what can I do to get them listed on your Store Finder?
Quote:
Specialized game stores are also in the hobby market as we use the term and would be your best bet if there are any local to you.
It may be the case that I have not been in a “specialized game store” since the 80s. I am not sure I know what you have in mind, and Google does help!

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Originally Posted by 43Supporter View Post
…it only takes a couple people (and a bucketload of faux Internet accounts) to make something appear bigger (or smaller!) than it is.
I was referring to the KS comment traffic, so those are all people who have put up credit cards. Their enthusiam is not fake, and at least has face validity. OTOH, it is probably a very small portion commenting, and maybe the quiet pledges are just ‘meh’ — but there is still a thousand of them, and the KS might well hit $1,000,000.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

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Originally Posted by beetle496 View Post
. . .Since I am only a customer, what can I do to get them listed on your Store Finder?

The retailers can go to the Steve Jackson Games website and fill out the form here:

http://www.sjgames.com/storefinder/retail.html

. . .It may be the case that I have not been in a “specialized game store” since the 80s. I am not sure I know what you have in mind, and Google does help!. . .

A specialized games store would carry a lot of games. We have some of them in Sacramento. We also have stores such as the A-1 Comics chain, which have both comics and games. The best way to figure out if the stores will carry Steve Jackson Games products is to ask. Also, there's a distributor locator page on the Steve Jackson Games website to see which distributors serve the area.

Distributors would buy the game from Steve Jackson Games, then sell to the game store.

http://www.sjgames.com/general/distributors/

If your retailer is into Car Wars, then suggest they back the Kickstarter at the $200 Retailer Reward level and then they can get the $140 Double Ace items and purchase add-ons at their retail trade discount to satisfy those who aren't backing the Kickstarter or to give backers more product to buy later in the year.

. . .
I was referring to the KS comment traffic, so those are all people who have put up credit cards. Their enthusiam is not fake, and at least has face validity. OTOH, it is probably a very small portion commenting, and maybe the quiet pledges are just ‘meh’ — but there is still a thousand of them, and the KS might well hit $1,000,000.
Most games have enthusiastic fans and those who play with their group and are mostly quiet on the web. It's hard to figure out how much the more casual fans spend. I would not expect a 100% conversion rate of those who got the emails but have yet to back the game. Car Wars has been quiet for a while and has a specific feel that isn't 100% duplicated by the new edition and there are also competitors on the market. I remember one HackMaster product had all of 13 preorders and being tied to the Knights of the Dinner Table comic, well you'd have figured it would have more than just HackMaster fans because it was for the main GM of that comic's campaign world. Eventually the product was realized in part as a PDF--which just goes to show that predicting who will buy a game is not always indicative of website traffic.

I'd be in one of those 'loud' fan groups--I'm getting Car Wars to last me years with this Kickstarter. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

Oh, and shipping is not a profit center for Steve Jackson Games.

So, please pledge for the stuff you want now without adding in shipping. Budget shipping in later and then add that in Backerkit to cover your goodies.

Game companies, unless they jack up their shipping prices, aren't making money on shipping. Even if game companies do charge a high shipping price, the costs of shipping are pretty high for games, so the best case scenario is usually covering shipping costs.
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Old 12-28-2019, 01:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

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Originally Posted by 43Supporter View Post
I've heard of a subset of fans of *anything* referred to as "cicadas" -- a small number of them, but they make noise out of all proportion to their numbers; thus creating a false sense of their numbers.
Which is one of the distinct benefits of something like Kickstarter; it's a fairly immediate reality check. It's not perfect (I don't know the correlation between KS success and later regular market success, but I'm sure it's not perfect), but at least the money is actually out there, and while sockpuppet accounts are certainly possible, they cost real money.
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

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Which is one of the distinct benefits of something like Kickstarter; it's a fairly immediate reality check. It's not perfect (I don't know the correlation between KS success and later regular market success, but I'm sure it's not perfect), but at least the money is actually out there, and while sockpuppet accounts are certainly possible, they cost real money.
Indeed -- KS is the ne plus ultra of "put your money where your mouth is".

It's the rest of the Internet which causes the problem. :)
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Old 12-28-2019, 03:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Which is one of the distinct benefits of something like Kickstarter; it's a fairly immediate reality check. It's not perfect (I don't know the correlation between KS success and later regular market success, but I'm sure it's not perfect), but at least the money is actually out there, and while sockpuppet accounts are certainly possible, they cost real money.
The correlation between Kickstarter success and regular retail success is far weaker than most people want to believe. Many times, the Kickstarter more or less completely fills the demand for a given product, leaving it dead on arrival at retail if it does come out that way. There are far more cases of that than a product being a Kickstarter success and having smashing retail business, too.

One needs look no further than Ogre - while it has been successful at crowdfunding since the designer’s edition days, it has flopped at retail, according to SJGs own stakeholders reports top 40 sellers. Ogre 6E, and its reinforcement pack have been duds at retail. Many places were discounting Ogre Reinforcements at less than $10 shipped shortly after its release. Even though it was a good product, it didn’t sell at retail. Thus, unless something changes drastically, SJG has said that Ogre’s future is limited to crowdfunding only status.
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Old 12-28-2019, 04:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: Kickstarter general question about profitability

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The correlation between Kickstarter success and regular retail success is far weaker than most people want to believe. Many times, the Kickstarter more or less completely fills the demand for a given product, leaving it dead on arrival at retail if it does come out that way.
I'm not surprised to hear that, particularly in the case of releases that target an established fan base, but the specific 'cicada' case mentioned above would almost always be a release targeting an established fan base, so if it can't make it as a kickstarter it certainly wouldn't have been a success in any other way either.
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